A natural approach to cleaning

THE NATURAL CLEANING LADY: Jessica Bragdon and her husband Paul launched Koala Eco in 2017. The products are now stocked in more than 400 Australian stores.

THE NATURAL CLEANING LADY: Jessica Bragdon and her husband Paul launched Koala Eco in 2017. The products are now stocked in more than 400 Australian stores.

Making your home sparkle can be an ultimately rewarding chore, but at what cost to the environment and your family and pets?

Its a question Jessica Bragdon and her husband Paul asked themselves as they went on the very long hunt for safe, affordable, chemical-free cleaning products that not only could make their home smell fabulous, but actually work.

If you look at the labels on ordinary products, youll see warnings about some of their ingredients being hazardous if accidentally inhaled, or if they come into contact with skin, says Jessica.

Thats because these chemicals are either poisonous or at the very least, harmful. So you start to wonder, however carefully I use these types of product, can I be sure theyre not leaving behind any nasty vapours or residue? If Im using harsh chemicals on bathroom and kitchen surfaces, am I really cleaning them? And then, if were all using toxic products, what is that doing to our water systems, and everything that relies on water to thrive?

I came to realise that cleaning our house by filling it with the toxic chemicals found in most cleaners was not actually creating a clean and healthy home.

I came to realise that cleaning our house by filling it with the toxic chemicals found in most cleaners was not actually creating a clean and healthy home.

Jessica Bragdon

When the couple couldnt find something suitable they decided to create their own range of products, completely free of synthetic fragrance and colouring, and using natural, native plant-based remedies that contain natural antiseptic and astringent qualities, and have been harvested for tens of thousands of years by Aboriginal people for food and medicinal needs.

Called Koala Eco, the ingredients in the products are 100 per cent pure essential oils from the bark and leaves of native Australian trees and plants such as eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon scented iron bark, lemon myrtle, peppermint, lavender and rosemary.

We also use essential oil extracted from the peel of citrus species like grapefruit and mandarin, says Jessica. These all have incredible natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

To these essential oils we add ingredients like vinegar, sugar-based biodegradable alcohol and bicarbonate soda, plant-derived solubilisers and surfactants, and purified water. So everything in our products is non-toxic, vegan, and grey water safe.

Jessica says its hard not to be inspired by nature when you live in Australia.

Every bushwalk or trip to the ocean immerses you in the most incredible flora and fauna.